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The right speech or monologue in a movie will give you goosebumps, playing with tons of your emotions and, at times, leaving you inspired. Think Bill Pullman in Independence Day or Mel Gibson in Braveheart. These are the speeches that made you want to go out and conquer the world — or at least finish community college.
Then there are the movie speeches that make you laugh to this day. You know, the ones you quote over and over with buddies, yet, for some reason, your girlfriend still doesn’t understand them. But, hey, they never will.
We watched a bunch of comedy movies to find the best of all time. And, while not exactly "The Gettysburg Address", these are just as memorable, nonetheless — and a hell of a lot more fun.
“Pretty Little Pet” (Tommy Boy)
Big Tom Callahan’s son, played by Chris Farley, unleashes the pent-up frustration every struggling salesman has experienced. Talking to the disinterested waitress, "Tommy Boy" opens up the monologue with the solid opener of: “Helen, we’re both in sales, let me tell you why I suck.” He then appropriately fondles a biscuit at the table before ripping it up in a rage of fury. This is Farley at his best, but if you don’t think so, don’t worry, we still got that meat-lovers pizza in the back of the truck.
“One-Man Wolfpack" (The Hangover)
“How ‘bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City.” Zach Galifianakis’ character of Alan spontaneously breaks into a speech in front of the bachelor party full of bros on the rooftop of Caesar’s Palace. And, in the process, he admits that the three new brothers have joined his exclusive ‘One-Man-Wolfpack’. Galifianakis’ oratory excellence is on full display with his line of “Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.” Pretty much a best man speech any guy would love to pull off. Well, minus the slicing of your own hand.
"Hallelujah, Holy Shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
Forget Tom Hanks, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is the true American Dad. In a film that only seems to get better with age, Chase’s character finally loses it when a letter in the mail comes in with a one-year subscription to the jelly-of-the-month club, instead of the expected Christmas bonus. Clark unleashes the colorful adjectives in rapid-fire fashion. Brainless, dickless, hopeless… these are just a few of the Griswold’s greatest hits. No Christmas is complete without it.
"Life Moves Pretty Fast, If You Don't Stop To Look Around Once In A While, You Could Miss It.” (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Before characters on TV shows likes The Office or Parks and Recreation did it on a weekly basis, the only person cool and confident enough to speak directly to the camera was Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick). Ferris played the ultimate alpha dog. Women loved him and men respected him. Broderick laid out a full-proof plan for teenagers everywhere to take a much-needed mental health day. The key to faking out the parents? Clammy hands. FOMO, YOLO and whatever other acronyms millennials use are all things Bueller taught us over 30 years ago.
"Our Pets’ Heads Are Falling Off!” (Dumb and Dumber)
This isn’t a full-blown monologue or speech because there’s a little back and forth between Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey), but Carrey’s declaration for a change is comedy gold. No jobs and no food will drive just about any man to his breaking point. When Lloyd tells Harry he wants to go someplace where the ‘beer flows like wine’ it cemented our love for the endearing stupidity that makes Dumb and Dumber so great. And Harry is right — the French are assholes.
"The Puppy Who Lost His Way” (Billy Madison)
This was Adam Sandler's Casablanca. Billy, competing for ownership of his father’s company in an academic decathlon with his arch-nemesis Eric, is asked by the moderator to describe the industrial revolution and cite specific examples. The work he cited? Ms. Lippy’s naptime classic “The Puppy Who Lost His Way”. Billy, in his own mind, does a masterful job of comparing the puppy to industry and the little boy to society. Sadly Billy was awarded no points for his comparison but one thing remains true. Knibb High football rules!
"Catch The Early Flight Home From San Diego” (Old School)
A clip that captures every disheveled, inappropriate best man at every wedding we’ve ever been to. Actor Luke Wilson nails all the little things — starting without a microphone, an untucked dress shirt, and going right into the classic line of ‘true love is hard to find’. It leads to a discovery of two nude people jumping out of your bathroom ready to… well, you know. Couple in Frank’s picture in the background and his shout out to his Dad and you’ve got a best man moment that makes you cringe and smile.
"Was It Over When The Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?" (Animal House)
No need for explanation. That sentence cements John Belushi as one of the greats — and has been one of the most uttered lines in frat houses ever since.
Josh Womack is the head writer of Laugh Staff where he writes hilarious wedding speeches.
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